Dear University of Portland community,
As you may have seen on the news or on our website, as of February 1, the University will no longer sell disposable plastic water bottles at The Cove, vending machines and concession stands and will also cease use at catering events. This move does not apply to the five-gallon Culligan jugs in use throughout campus.
You are encouraged to use reusable/refillable containers and tap water, which is available in water fountains throughout campus and at a water filling station in The Cove. The decision to discontinue the sale and use of disposable plastic water bottles was made in conjunction with Bon Appétit, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Sustainability and student groups.
While this move will take some adjustment on everyone’s part, we truly believe it is the right thing to do. The University used over 53,000 disposable plastic water bottles in 2009 alone, a good amount of which were not recycled, and the environmental impact of producing and transporting the bottles is significant. The water contained in the bottles often comes from distant locations, which only increases the impact from shipping and baling. Furthermore, because water being sold in disposable plastic water bottles is part of a process of privatization of water resources, the sustainable purchasing decision not to buy or sell disposable plastic water bottles also fits into the Catholic belief that water should not be treated as a commodity and that access to water is a universal and inalienable right.
The University of Portland takes seriously its commitment to being a good steward of the planet, and this move will not only reduce the amount of waste generated on our campus but will help focus attention on the critical issues of sustainability and water rights.
Thank you for helping us make our campus greener.
(Rev.) E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C.
PLU could do this, what do you think?